Friday, July 20, 2012

Double, Double by Michael Jan Friedman

On a routine exploratory mission, the Starship U.S.S. Hood picks up a distress signal from a research expedition thought lost long ago-the expedition of Dr. Roger Korby, one of the centuries’ greatest scientific minds.  Korby himself is dead, it seems, but his colleagues have made a most incredible discovery.  A discovery they insist the Hood’s captain sees for himself.  Reluctantly, the captain agrees to beam down.

Meanwhile the crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise begins a long overdue shore leave on Tranquility Seven.  James T. Kirk is looking forward to a few days of rest and relaxation…until what seems like a bizarre case of mistaken identity plunges Kirk into a whirlpool of mayhem and murder and puts an inhuman stranger with his memories in command of the Enterprise.

Have you ever wondered what happened after a television episode?  Michael Jan Friedman shows us the follow up to the original series “What Little Girls Are Made Of”.  It is one of the best of the Trek books I have read.

Like one reviewer commented, this would have made a great two part television show.  The first part would be the end of the season cliff hanger with the second part wrapping up the story at the start of the next year. 

Friedman tells an exciting conspiracy story that is also full of character moments (like the best of Star Trek).  On the occasions where Star Trek has ventured into conspiracies, it has always made for good stories.  The author pits the android in command of the Enterprise against the real Kirk on a lesser ship.  Reading about Kirk trying to outwit Kirk makes for a great story.  The author’s characterization is spot on.  It is hard to find a Trek novel that beats out this one.

The androids goal is a classic science fiction theme.  Would humanity be better if the base emotions were eliminated?  It has been explored in many older sf stories.

If you have any interest in reading a Star Trek novel, pick this up either from a used book store or through Amazon.  It is well worth it.  Also it gives you an excuse to go back and watch the original Trek story.  Any time I find a reason to return to the Trek television shows, it makes for a fun evening.

1 comment:

Chimeradave said...

I've read a lot of Michael Jan Friedman's Star Trek books. And I own this one and tried to read it, but I just couldn't get into it. It seemed too similar to the very first Star Trek novel "Spock Must Die" in which there were two Spocks.